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Nemesis Indians cast spell on Panthers
GBHS panther logo

BY JIM MISUNAS

jmisunas@gbtribune.com

HAYS – Defending Western Athletic Conference baseball champion Hays High delivered clutch pitching and defense to sweep Great Bend 4-0 and 5-4 and move into prime position to secure a league title.

No. 8 ranked 5A Hays (7-1, 6-0 WAC) handed the No. 7 ranked 5A Panthers (8-3, 2-2 WAC) a double dose of reality by keeping the Panthers’ high-powered offense under wraps. The Indians beat the Panthers’ top two pitchers Carson Umphres (2-1, 3.45 ERA) and Hunter Herrman (3-1, 4.91 ERA). The Panthers play at McPherson April 16.

HAYS 4, PANTHERS 0 (G1) – The Indians made Umphres pay for a lack of sharpness with a 3-run first inning. Tiger Johnson’s triple scored Cooper Sanders and Jonathan Cano. Johnson scored on a Lex Lummus single. Umphres recorded the next 15 outs to keep the Panthers within striking range.

Hays starter Nolan Dreher (3-0) was in complete command, permitting four baserunners in 67-degree weather and 10 mph wind.

Panther J.J. Grove reached on a hit-by-pitch and Peyden Oelger singled to lead off innings. Ian Premer singled and Trenton Kern walked.

Three of four Panther runners were picked off base. Daxton Minton’s double play groundball erased Oelger. Hays catcher Dylan Haselhorst threw out Premer at second base and retired Kern on a pickoff attempt at first base.

HAYS 5, PANTHERS 4 (G2) – Hays coach Dustin Dreher was taking notes when the Panthers converted Slade Mohr’s sacrifice bunt into a 2-run second inning. Carson Poe scored on Daxton Minton’s sacrifice fly. Oelger scored when Grove’s infield single was thrown away.

Oelger singled home Premer in the third inning for a 3-0 lead.

However, the Panthers didn't take advantage of 14 baserunners. Hays shortstop Sanders and pitcher Carter Graham turned inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth innings. Haselhorst foiled Mohr’s fifth-inning bunt attempt with a diving catch in foul territory.

Cano scored on Johnson’s fourth-inning groundout for a 3-1 score.

The Indians converted a trio of successful bunts into the game-winning fifth-inning rally. Graham tripled and scored on Ian McGuire’s bunt single. Sanders singled home McGuire. Cano and Johnson followed with back-to-back RBI bunts that brought home Corbin Werth and Sanders for a 5-3 lead.

Umphres scored on Owen Kaiser’s seventh-inning groundout.

Great Bend 000 000 0 – 0 2 0

Hays High 300 001 x – 3

Umphres, Oelger (6) and Kaiser. Dreher and Haselhorst. W—Dreher, 3-0. L—Umphres, 2-1. 3B—H—Johnson.

Great Bend 021 000 1 – 4 8 0

Hays High 000 140 x – 5 5 2

Herrman, Kaiser (6) and Kaiser, Milsap (6). Johns, Graham (4) and Haselhorst. W—Graham, 2-0. L—Herrman, 3-1. 2B—H—Cano. 3B—H—Graham.

WAC BASEBALL

Hays 6-0 7-1

Dodge City 1-0 5-4

Great Bend 2-2 8-3

Liberal 1-4 3-6

Garden City 0-4 4-4

HAYS HIGH (6-0, 7-1)--WW Salina Central 8-3, 7-5; WW Liberal 1-0, 16-1; WL Washburn 4-1, 4-5; WW Garden City 12-2, 9-3; WW Great Bend 4-0, 5-4; 4-12 Clay Center; 4-16 Dodge City; 4-18 at BV Southwest, DeSoto; 4-19 at Gardner, SM North; 4-25 Bonner Springs; 4-26 at Bonner Springs; 5-2 Hays TMP; 5-3 Brush, Colo. Manhattan; 5-4 Wichita Life; 5-9 at Salina South, Buhler

DODGE CITY (1-0, 5-4)--WW Ulysses 11-3, 8-2; LL Newton 2-4, 2-6; LL Valley Center 4-10, 5-17; W Garden City 7-2; WW Salina Centra 2-0, 7-3; 4-13 Junction City, Manhattan; 4-16 Hays; 4-19 BV West, Wichita Heights; 4-23 at Garden City; 4-26 Great Bend; 4-30 Liberal; 5-4 Lawrence, Lawrence Free State; 5-7 Liberal; 5-9 at Goddard Eisenhower

GREAT BEND (2-2, 8-3)--W Russell 17-0; WW Pratt 1-0, 10-6; WW Hutchinson 4-3, 14-2; WL Kapaun 8-7; 0-2; WW Liberal 8-5, 6-0; LL Hays 0-4, 4-5; 4-16 Emporia; 4-19 Aquinas; 4-20 Spring Hill, DeSoto; 4-23 at Hays TMP; 4-26 at Dodge City; 4-30 Garden City; 5-3; 5-8 at Manhattan

LIBERAL (1-4, 3-6)--WW Hugoton 17-0, 12-0; LL Hays 0-1, 1-16; LL Goddard Eisenhower 1-11, 9-12; LL Great Bend 5-8, 0-6; W Garden City 14-1; 4-12 Woodward, Okla.; 4-16 Garden City; 4-19 at Wichita North; 4-23 Russell; 4-25 at Holcomb; 4-30 at Dodge City; 5-3 at BV West; 5-7 Dodge City

GARDEN CITY (0-4, 4-4)--WW Wichita North 24-4, 17-2; WW Goodland 2-0, 8-1; L Dodge City 2-7; LL Hays 2-12, 3-9; L Liberal 1-14; 4-13 Junction City, Manhattan; 4-16 at Liberal; 4-23 Dodge City; 4-26 Wichita Southeast; 4-30 at Great Bend; 5-3 at Scott City; 5-7 Hays TMP